The prize table was laden with huge colorful water bazookas, the only thing that mattered. That damned race. On vacation at a resort in Oregon, a kid’s triathalon! So fun!
As soon as the kids started the swimming leg, it was immediately obvious who wasn’t a swim team kid. I wanted to pull him out of the pool and wrap him in his towel, but my son pushed me away roughly as he hurried to put on his shoes, one of the last out of the pool, and he began to run. He ran and rode his bike and crossed that finish line well in the middle but never quitting. But I wanted to die for him as he struggled with the swimming and saw how far back he was. I wanted to pull him into a hug and sneak off into the pine trees. He would have none of it. We walked past the prize table featuring the huge cartoon water gun after the race, not really looking this time.
I admired his perseverance and dealt with my own maternal guiltby putting both my boys into swim team as soon as we returned. Not to win races, but I felt I had overlooked some fundamental basic childhood necessity. They had swim lessons, I felt confident they could swim, but lanes and strokes and laps were not in their playbook, and it seemed every other kid but mine was on a swimteam. I felt like I’d accidentally forgotten to teach them how to use a fork. Actually that might still be some peoples opinion.
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